View Full Version : A friendly warning about SE Lincoln at 39th

03-12-2008, 06:10 AM
Just wanted to pass on a friendly warning or safety tip for eastside riders who use SE Lincoln. I use Lincoln on the way home each night and have seen some dangerous behavior at the light at 39th.

Those who use this route know that when heading eastbound on Lincoln, only bikes are allowed to continue straight through the light. Cars must turn left or right. In addition, no car traffic is allowed to drive westbound on Lincoln from 39th. It's one way heading east on the west side of the street.

In what would be the westbound traffic lane of Lincoln is instead a westbound bike lane and a small painted island area. Many cyclists heading eastbound on Lincoln wait in this painted island area but therein lies the danger.

On 5 separate occasions, I have seen cars turn illegally from southbound 39th onto westbound Lincoln. Every time, the driver doesn't seem to quite realize that it's not allowed until it's too late but continues on anyway, despite the signage. Luckily in all cases, no cyclist was waiting in the island (I wait in the eastbound traffic lane with the cars). I can't imagine how many times this must happen when I'm not there.

Cyclists who wait in this island do so at their own peril. One of these days, in the dark and the rain, some car is going to turn right into you. I can't have been the only person to see this... Anyone else have a similar experience?

03-12-2008, 10:36 AM
Thanks for the warning. I was waiting in that painted island just last Saturday afternoon. Luckily, no car made the illegal west-bound turn while I was there, but I won't be taking that risk in the future.

03-12-2008, 11:23 AM
Yes, I have seen this too. And I just don't get it. That painted island is painted yellow. It is not part of any lane, so there is no reason to be there. I guess those folks are trying to get out of the way of the motor vehicles who are turning right from the single lane on Lincoln onto 39th, but that courtesy, if that's what it is, is creating a serious risk for those folks. It's OK to make them wait 15 extra seconds to turn.

concerned citizen
03-12-2008, 09:28 PM
I used to reside on Lincoln just east of 39th and personally experienced/witnessed several close calls with drivers taking rather reckless turns onto Lincoln. It seemed that most of these drivers were quite aware that they were committing an illegal turn as they were extremely "hurried" in their actions.

Definitely a good heads-up for those who traverse this intersection.

Stay alert out there!

03-13-2008, 08:29 AM
don't live in Portland (just west...).

But hey - if a "concerned citizen" can call about the Ladd stop sign runners, why can't a "concerned citizen" call about this? An illegal turn is an illegal turn, even if there aren't any cyclists to hit at the time.

(for the record, I come to a complete stop at each and every stop sign)

03-13-2008, 03:41 PM
Guilty as charged - 4 motivations for me:

1) There's already a cyclist in this island - so I figure I shouldn't complicate things by surrounding the lead vehicle with bikes on both sides.
2) Yep, trying to throw drivers who want to turn RT a bone. I've had negative experience with some drivers who get a little peeved I'm costing them .2 seconds... and with the parked cars there isn't a lot of room to sidle over so they can turn.
3) Yes, I admit - I don't want to sit in line with the cars and risk missing the light. 3-4 cars deep and it can happen.
4) You can pull right up to the driver - you're on the driver side so they clearly know you are there.

That said - If the car has their signal on to turn left and there is no one in the island - I go to the right. Just trying to be a good citizen. Oh you can bet I keep an eye on the approaching traffic - I wasn't aware it was illegal for them to turn in front of me!

Hey what do y'all think about advocating for a bike box at this light?